Countries With the Highest Rates of Working Women

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5. Mozambique
> Women working or looking for a job: 83.5% (74.6% male)
> Share of women in professional and tech jobs: 35.0%
> Share of women in senior positions: 24.3%

Mozambique is one of three countries out of the 149 included in the report to have a higher share of the female population working or looking for work. (Rwanda and Burundi are the other two). But women are still paid significantly less for similar work, and occupy significantly fewer tech jobs and cabinet or senior positions.

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4. Madagascar
> Women working or looking for a job: 85.1% (90.3% male)
> Share of women in professional and tech jobs: 47.5%
> Share of women in senior positions: 31.8%

In Madagascar, more than 85% of women are in the workforce, the 18th-highest percentage among the countries ranked in the Global Gender Gap Report. Women in Madagascar, a country with almost 25 million people, have a higher rate of enrollment in secondary education, although it is only about 30% of the adult female population who are secondary school age.

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3. Nepal
> Women working or looking for a job: 85.4% (87.3% male)
> Share of women in professional and tech jobs: 29.8%
> Share of women in senior positions: 18.8%

One possible reason for the high share of working women in Nepal — a country where widowed women are treated as outcasts and considered bad omens — is many of the country’s men leave to work abroad. Partly as a result, women become more active and enter the workforce. Women are slowly entering into professions that have traditionally been occupied by men only, although this trend is unevenly distributed across caste, ethnicities, and regions.

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2. Iceland
> Women working or looking for a job: 86.1% (91.7% male)
> Share of women in professional and tech jobs: 56.0%
> Share of women in senior positions: 32.4%

Iceland, the first nation to elect a woman as head of state, boasts a female labor participation rate of 86.1%, one of the highest in the world. In Iceland, 56% of the professional and technical workforce is female. Women also have higher enrollment rates than men in secondary and in tertiary education.

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1. Rwanda
> Women working or looking for a job: 88.0% (87.6% male)
> Share of women in professional and tech jobs: 38.7%
> Share of women in senior positions: 36.3%

At first glance, Rwanda is an unlikely champion of gender equality. It is not rich and has a turbulent history. At 88%, Rwanda has the highest rates of female labor force participation in the world. However, this outcome is not entirely by choice. It goes back to the country’s genocide more than two decades ago when close to 800,000 Rwandans were killed in three months. As a result, up to 70% of the country’s population were women, and they had to fill all the jobs.